Things to do in London in October 2020

London celebrates its food and drink scene, while Halloween showcases the capital's spooky side – just some of the many October events in London.
London panorama above golden trees.
Roam London's Richmond Park, as it is covered in autumnal colours. Credits: Jon Reid. Image courtesy of Jon Reid.

What's on in London in October?

  • Explore London's food scene with the London Restaurant Festival.
  • Top October events include October half-term, London Cocktail Week and London Oktoberfest.
  • In 2020, the London Marathon takes place in October (it's usually in April).
  • Join in the fun with Halloween celebrations across London.

London becomes a little colder in October as autumn splashes the city’s parks and gardens with a riot of autumnal colours, changing the vivid greens to warm coppers, golds and russet reds. 

Take a trip to Kew GardensRichmond Park or other major parks, London's largest open spaces, to bask in the beautiful display of colours, and celebrate the season in cosy spots.

British schools break up for a October half-term, so look out for special family activities at many London attractions and others to enjoy from home.

Some events which usually take place in October have been cancelled in light of coronavirus, but there's still lots to do throughout this colourful month – and some large-scale celebrations have turned into virtual or contact-free events.

Contact-free and virtual events in October

Unmissable London events in October 

  • Sign up to the Virgin Money London Marathon, which is taking place virtually in October this year.
  • Enjoy online and in-person events throughout Black History Month, which celebrates black culture and history throughout October each year.
  • Join talks, readings, poetry performances and more events with the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre.
  • Catch films and movie-themed fun at the BFI London Film Festival, which has moved online this year.
  • Meet artists, engineers and designers during London Craft Week.
  • Celebrate art with a whole load of artsy events in London's famous gallery district during the Mayfair Art Weekend with some events lasting the entire month.
  • Get on your broom and head to Leicester Square to check out the Harry Potter sculpture, a new addition to the film-tastic Scenes in the Square trail.
  • Admire walls flooded with striking pieces by household and emerging artists at the famous Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, which kicks-off a little later this year due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Halloween in London

Celebrate Halloween in London with an array of themed events, from family activities at museums, to spooky London tours and frightening events. Explore eerie ways to celebrate with our picks of the best things to do in London or at home this Halloween

Fun family events in London

  • Take your pick from fun events and activities at London attractions and from home during October half-term.
  • Get your detective hat on and search for the Gruffalo who is hiding in the woods at Kew Gardens.

For more things to do in October in London, take a look at our events calendar and guide to what's on in London. Or discover plenty more seasonal events and activities with our ultimate guide to autumn in London and London-themed things to do from home

WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see our London weather page.

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